The CITY Tragedy

The CITY Tragedy

A Stage Play by Marlowe147

The start of a play I'll eventually finish about a New York City detective.







Scene I


Enter Detective Frank Marlowe, emerging from the darkness, the lighting of his cigarette a quick flash of his face and that is all.


MARLOWE (Aside) Politics make me sick. They are the reason that I keep a shaker of pills and a bottle of gin in my middle desk drawer. The department’s all politics. I don’t care much for them. It tore away the last shreds of humanity this city had. No more decency. Nothing like blue skies at the edge of storm clouds. Nothing like…


She was bleeding, still, though two hours had passed since she was shot down. A pretty face, but not that pretty. Not before, and definitely not now. So young. And pale and lifeless.


Lights and the scene is revealed. Caution tape, yellow and rippling with wind. Police Officers stand in still positions. The red and blue lights silently revolve.


MARLOWE (Aside) I whisper to her, “Little Sheep,” and there is no response. The pool was now collected deep in the apartments black carpet.

The officer on the scene was saying something, but it was all muffled and underwater. It wasn’t her.


Lights are up again. The girl moves slightly, cocking her head to stare directly into Marlowe’s dark eyes.

GIRL Hello.




GIRL Where did you go? Why weren’t you here?


MARLOWE I, I didn’t know. I couldn’t-


The girl was again motionless, head on the ground, her eyes toward the ceiling


OFFICER TIPPIT Frank. I didn’t know you were on the case.


MARLOWE Neither did I an hour ago. And yet here we are.


Tippit loses interest in the conversation and walks out of the room..


GIRL You’ll always fail me.




The lights fade, submerging Marlowe and the Girl in darkness; the attention is shifted back to the Police Officers gathered at the buildings entrance



OFFICER TIPPIT This is fucked up, Sarge. She’s just a kid.


SARGE We’re chasing a monster.


Fade to black


MARLOWE (Monologue) I can’t sleep most nights. The flies crowding the door keep me awake with their incessant buzzing. Sirens. Sirens keep me awake. Sirens are like flies, always, always… Everything is that girl. My little sheep.


Sometimes I dream of her. I dream and she tells me to love and then she says to forget. Then she goes to sleep. That’s when I wake up, shaking and feeling like parasites are eating away stomach lining, head pounding radioactively. My guts churn empty, hollowed out like the stump of a tree. Decayed by the grim air. I hang my sick head in my sick toilet and clutch, with each heave, the base of it. I claw the floor with bloodied hands. The bloods on the mirror’s glass on the floor next to me. I see a piece of my reflection in a shard and rush my head back into the bowl.


Three pestering knocks came at the door


MARLOWE (Monologue)  If I can get to sleep I try not to dream. Some of my darkest moments hide in them. But they always find me. After that I can't help but keep awake, pacing my one room overlooking the filth-streets.


Every morning at 5:00am the same damn thing happens: there are terrible scre-


Again a knock at the door. Frustrated.


LUSK  Marlowe! Get up, Marlowe! Your late with your rent!


MARLOWE  Shut the f**k up! I have to put some clothes on.


Shuffling to the door, Marlowe unlocks the bottom lock, leaving the chain fastened and opens




LUSK  You think you’re king s**t or something? F****n’ talkin’ to me that way, who the f**k are you?


MARLOWE  Me? I’m your personal f*****g Mother Teresa. Are you so brain-dead, stupid, that you already forgot that I’m the only tenant that does pay?


LUSK  I ought to throw you to the wolves


MARLOWE  Yeah, and I ought to get laid, but neither is gonna happen.


LUSK  Ah, go to hell, Marlowe.


MARLOWE  Already there.


Lusk Exits


MARLOWE  Lusk, you dumb're my only friend.


It gets real lonely in dumps like this. The rain dripping outside is good company. I ought to get up. After all, the rent's due and the wolves are howling.


This city is dirt and nobody wants to admit it. The rancid s**t smell at every corner. Sewers that are overflowing, packed to the brim with waste. The drug fiends are in the same damn alleys they were born to. But they're no different from the Prozac-dazed that lace the malls. The ones that carry out sacks from their plunder and pillage.


I pass all of this in thick traffic. A fat f**k in a wheelchair crawls past in his electric rolling. So this is envy?


MARLOWE  ‘And this also has been one of the dark places of the earth.’ I read that in some book a long time ago. I find it fit’s the occasion quite well.

© 2010 Marlowe147

Author's Note

Unfinished. Would like some feedback. Reviews appreciated.

My Review

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This is a good start. You set the scene well, and make a compelling curiosity about what is going on. I wanted to keep reading to figure out what the f**k happened (pardon my language). I do see some things that I think can be improved.

First, I think changing the font and and breaks of the title within the post should be changed to be more uniform. I'm not familiar with the nature of screenplay drafts, but if it is like stories or poems, it should be uniform. Unless, of course, you're trying to put extra emphasis on "City."

When Frank goes from an introspective discussion of politics to describing the scene, you should indicate what makes him change subjects so rapidly. An eye glance, a pause, a look of inspection, etc.

I think you need to describe the atmosphere where Frank monologues. If it's just a light on him, or if the officers are still visible, etc.

Still, overall, this is a great start. I can't wait to see what happens.

Posted 14 Years Ago

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11 Reviews
Added on April 27, 2010
Last Updated on May 28, 2010
Tags: Dark, Grim, Orwellian, Grotesque, Strange, Weird, Dystopia, Religion, Apocalypse, Politics

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